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Doctor Has Advice for Idahoans During American Stroke Month

May 12, 2010

BOISE, Idaho - Only heart disease, cancer and accidents kill more Idahoans than stroke - and during May, American Stroke Month, health care professionals want us to learn more about the risk factors and warning signs. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot, or bursts.

Dr. Felix Chukwudelunzu with the American Stroke Association says stroke affects 795,000 Americans every year - and about two Idahoans die every day from stroke.

"Every 40 to 45 seconds, someone is having a stroke. So, it's a common phenomenon in this country and throughout the world."

Chukwudelunzu says some risk factors are hereditary and cannot be changed, but those resulting from lifestyle or environment can be modified with the help of a health care professional.

"Make sure that we know what our risk factors are, that we work closely with our doctors in making sure that those risk factors are controlled or reduced, and that will reduce or prevent stroke."

High blood pressure among the leading causes of stroke, he adds. Warning signs include sudden severe headache, numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, and sudden confusion with trouble speaking, seeing, or understanding. If you, or someone with you, has these symptoms, he says time is critical. Don't wait to see if symptoms subside - call 9-1-1 immediately.

Additional resources are online at www.americanheart.org, and www.strokeassociation.org.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - ID